Two years after the launch of Girl Meets Dress, the first and leading online Luxury rental destination, founder Anna Bance recalls how progress is being made to fulfil her dotcom dream
If I've learnt one thing building Girl Meets Dress, it's that the team is everything.
Of course not everyone has a Co-Founder, but in the early days before and during your first hires, it helps enormously if most of the skills needed are split between the founders. For us it was Finance / Tech / Operations v PR / Customer / Product / Design.
In London our team is multi-national, loyal and dedicated. In the last year we have hired amazing people from Russia / Mexico / Sweden / France / Spain / South America ... and currently we had 3 lovely Greek girls livening things up, especially when we put on the Greece v England Euro 2012 match in the office!
However, we're outgrowing our current premises in Chelsea and although it has been our London base so far - and a local area filling very quickly with other online fashion companies - it will soon be time to move on. For a small team it has been amazing, but grow past 10 and it's no longer cost-effective. Maybe we will venture east and join our start-up allies in 'Tech City' - but amazingly, prices are not necessarily less and Silicon Roundabout rents are soaring.
The aim would be to be close to our counterparts, many of which we know and would enjoy hanging out with more often. It's a wonderful thing to be able to regularly swap successes, trauma's and fails with other young companies who know what you are going though.
Being surrounded by other inspiring and disruptive businesses is the best way to learn and scale.
Right now partnerships are extremely important to us and we are constantly talking to a wide variety of exciting companies and working closely with them.
Last week was packed with events and fun meetings. From the Drapers 125th Birthday party at The Langham Hotel (which included a full size photobooth on the dancefloor) - to an innovative new event just launched called 'Don't Pitch Me Bro'
Last Monday, on the first day of the AEGON tennis championships last week I had a lovely invitation to join one of my fellow online entrepreneurs Alexandra Chong, her Luluvise team and some fascinating women in the London tech industry, for a day of tennis, networking, cream tea and Pimms at The Queen's Club, London.
Unfortunately after a long rainy weekend and an 11am arrival under an umbrella, it was quickly obvious that the former wouldn't materialise and sure enough rain prevented all play that day. The grass courts may have been dampened but our spirits were not! Quite the opposite and in such fantastic company and a truly historic location, it was a day to remember. It gave us all a chance to bond, and catch up on all the happenings with our businesses (oh ok, and perhaps a little boy chat might have slipped in there - only to of course honour the girly spirit of Luluvise)
The day wasn't totally without tennis and we soon discovered that on a rainy day, the underground practice courts and training rooms are the perfect place for girls to drink Pimms.
We spotted Nicolas Mahut warming up (to then go on and beat Andy Murray the following day) - and also the Brian Brothers in a stretching session which sparked a few tweets - and it was the perfect end to a lovely day.
P.S I think it is crucial to live your brand and I wear at least one GMD dress a week. This is me last weekend attending finals day of Polo in the Park at the Hurlingham Club in Fulham, London.
I chose to wear a floral printed dress with wide purple belt by the designer Alice + Olivia. You can rent the dress here.
Follow Anna Bance on Twitter: www.twitter.com/@AnnaBance_GMD